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I Crashed in Water - now what?
854 13 2017-5-26
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fansc70ce1a1
lvl.1
United States
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Hi, everyone:

I was out fliming a golf course, when my Phantom 3 4K hit a tree, dropped, bounced off a rock, and landed in a small stream, completely submerged. It was probably there for about 30-40 seconds, upside-down, before being pulled out.

Here's the damage:
1. the gimbal came off - all four of the plastic pins attaching it to the body are gone, and one of the four eyelets (where the plastic pins go through) on the corners of the gimbal snapped.
2. the body of the aircraft has obvious damage where the top part of the shell connects to the bottom part.

I'm not sure about the battery yet, but I'm guessing it's done as well.

Now what?
Does this sound like something worth pursuing to replace?
It is currently sitting in front of a fan, working on drying out - do I put in another battery, turn it on, and try to save the footage I did capture?

Thanks for any thoughts you have.

K
2017-5-26
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8Blue Wolf8
lvl.1

Australia
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Hmmm..from my own experience the battery will be toast.  The gimbal (and probably camera) will need replacing...if the body damage is minor cracking then it will probably be ok but the flight motors may well be stuffed.  You are looking at somewhere around $500 or $600 for parts if you can repair yourself and then it may(?) all be good.    Big decision!  Let us know how you go!
2017-5-26
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djordan2
First Officer
Flight distance : 79291 ft
United States
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Water generally won't hurt the SD card.  Take it out, wipe it off and stick it in the computer media bay.  I'll bet your video is okay.  As for the rest....not so much!
2017-5-26
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I am the E
Second Officer
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Australia
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Get a big bag of rice, put it in for couple of days. Meanwhile get all the parts from amazon and get working on replacing them.
2017-5-26
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T3rdEye
Captain
Flight distance : 221844 ft
United States
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Don't us rice.  It gets into places and once it swells from the moisture may be hard to get out.  Try dried peas.
2017-5-27
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DJI-Jamie
DJI team
Flight distance : 112405 ft
United States
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Could you clarify how the unit crashed into the tree? Was it a malfunction of some sort or was it an unfortunate incident?
2017-5-27
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fansc70ce1a1
lvl.1
United States
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2017-5-27 10:31
Could you clarify how the unit crashed into the tree? Was it a malfunction of some sort or was it an unfortunate incident?

Hi, Jamie:

It was an error on my part - my line of sight was at a poor angle in relation to the tree. I thought I had much more room than I actually did.
2017-5-28
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fansc70ce1a1
lvl.1
United States
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Update for everyone:

I've decided to just go ahead and purchase a new drone. I've got to complete this project I was working on and don't have time to wait for repairs.
2017-5-28
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DJI-Jamie
DJI team
Flight distance : 112405 ft
United States
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fansc70ce1a1 Posted at 2017-5-28 08:47
Update for everyone:

I've decided to just go ahead and purchase a new drone. I've got to complete this project I was working on and don't have time to wait for repairs.

Thanks for the update, I'm sure you'll take this as a learning experience and do well with your next unit.
2017-5-30
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ibuyufo
Second Officer
Flight distance : 819098 ft
United States
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2017-5-30 12:10
Thanks for the update, I'm sure you'll take this as a learning experience and do well with your next unit.

Usually it takes me at least 3 tries to learn.
2017-5-30
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DJI-Jamie
DJI team
Flight distance : 112405 ft
United States
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ibuyufo Posted at 2017-5-30 12:46
Usually it takes me at least 3 tries to learn.

I'm sure the 3rd time doesn't have to be the charm.
2017-5-30
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fansc70ce1a1
lvl.1
United States
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Another update - weeks later

On a whim, I decided to try the crashed unit, to see if it will still fly. I stuck in a battery, different from the one that crashed, and it took off! I flew it around for an entire battery charge, and the aircraft was responding fine! The gimbal is still not attached, or fixed, but I thought you all might find this interesting - especially since the thing had been underwater for a time after crashing.

The Phantom 4 Pro I purchased as a replacement is fantastic!
2017-7-8
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Lectro88
lvl.3
Flight distance : 286411 ft

United States
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Probably won't help you this time.. But for anybody that doesn't know... Get the battery out  immediately  stop the power flow before the magic smoke is released, its really hard to get the smoke back in. Ha ha.
This goes for any electronics, unplug it and get aux power out its a quick race and sometimes you just won't win it, but if you get lucky after its dried out Days of drying that is. Then try to power up as normal.
Word to the wise, don't be in a hurry to see if you did this in time. If you rush it and you were quick enough and its not completely dry, you just as good to throw it back in for another wash.

My trade is.
30 years in the electrical trade, Unlimited E contractor and Level III  unactivated.
2017-7-8
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fans961438bf
lvl.1

United States
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Cant post thread so Im asking on this one.
I also went in the water.  Dried everything out and my battery was of course done.  Bought a new one and threw it in the drone and everything started up.  the gimball with live video feed, could move camera etc...  Lights on the drone arms flashed red continuously after flashing green on 2 arms briefly, calibrated compass etc..  Long story short the battery meter say 0% and thus I cant get my motors to fire.  Even though the drone is clearly receiving power the DJI app and Litche app registers 0% for the battery.  Im at a loss. Any ideas?  
3 standard by the way.  thanks
2017-8-16
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